Haha: Sad Clown Stories

Image Comics. Oct. 2021. 176p. ISBN 9781534319141. pap. $16.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
A number of cross-referenced and mildly related stories make up this strange and provocative anthology about clowns and their ilk. Bearing an odd resemblance to the old “EC”-style horror comics, these stories run the gauntlet of self-inflicted ruined lives, chronic poor choices, and gratitude even in the midst of change and chaos. The gold standard of the O. Henry plot twist is alive and well represented here, and redemption and forgiveness are possible, even in the often-gloomy world of professional foolishness. Prince (Ice Cream Man) has written a collection of rather philosophical “clown’s point of view” stories which are well illustrated by seven artists in a variety of styles that finely represent the story themes. The line work is generally bold, and the coloring is complementary and often painterly. Bonus sketches and cover art grace the back pages.
VERDICT Fans of jarring and ironic sequential art books will enjoy this aggregation of carnival melancholy.
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